For the past 9 years, the Southern Automotive Media Association has hosted an event called Topless in Miami. It is an annual gathering of its members to determine what are the best convertibles on the market. The definition of a “convertible” has obviously changed over the years with the introduction of hardtop convertibles and “convertible like” vehicles such as panoramic vehicles, which are becoming more and more popular. However the spirit of the event holds true now more than ever… soaking up the sunshine is the best way to enjoy the streets of South Florida.
Here are this year’s winners and why I think they deserve the title:
Convertible Of The Year: Mercedes AMG GT C Roadster
This Roadster deserves a home run with classic Roadster styling, a knockout exhaust and racing inspired interior. It not only looks and sounds fast, but it rockets from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds thanks to 550 horsepower bi-Turbo V8 engine.
This vehicle also won the luxury convertible of the year award.
Exotic Convertible Of The Year: Rolls Royce Dawn Black Badge
In a land like Miami, where Ferrari and Lamborghini sports cars fill the streets, there is only one way to stand out: drive a Rolls Royce. But this isn’t just any Rolls Royce, it is a Black Badge with blacked out wheels, blacked out grill and a blacked out Spirit of Ecstasy. The Dawn serves the award not just for its rarity and coolness factor, but its use of exotic materials and its magic carpet ride suspension.
Sporty Convertible Of The Year: Porsche Boxster GTS
While its big brother, the 911, has the racing pedigree… the Boxster has stolen the hearts of everyone who has driven it. For sheer driving pleasure, the Boxster GTS is the clear winner of the sporty category. Its nimble handling, snappy power delivery, and aggressive styling will leave you and your passenger grinning from ear to ear.
Compact Convertible Of The Year: Mazda MX5
While the MX5 should arguably be in the sporty class, it was placed in the compact class due to its size and price point. However even as a compact convertible, it wins its class. The MX5 consistently hits on all four cylinders due to its fun nature, great fuel economy, and affordable price point. It is a great all-around value.
Pickup Truck Of The Year: Jeep Gladiator
This may seem like a first, but it is not. There have been a number of convertible like pickup trucks. The beauty of the Jeep Gladiator though is that it offers the open air enjoyment of driving a Wangler with the utility of a RAM. Now you can hit the beach in the morning and haul furniture in the evening with one vehicle.
Panoramic Car Of The Year: Genesis G70
This was a tough class to judge, because there were a lot of great contenders. I think the G70 ultimately won because of its exceptionally well appointed interior, stylish design, and competitive price point.
Panoramic Utility Vehicle Of The Year: Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
No other SUV ignited this much passion when sitting behind the wheel. Alfa Romeo breathed a racing pedigree into the Stelvio when its engineers made it a Quadrifoglio. The Ferrari designed engine paired with a great exhaust and a solid platform make the Stelvio a fantastic grocery getter. It is a car that turns heads as you drive by and pushes heads back when you smash the gas pedal.